Government changes tack on Coffs Harbour Bypass – tunnels now part of new plan

File photo
File photo

THE NSW Government has announced a new committee will progress the Coffs Harbour Bypass, which will now feature tunnels instead of earth cuttings – in response to community feedback.

These improvements include the lowering of the road gradient, a significant reduction in the height of the viaduct adjacent to Mackays Rd, low noise pavement along the entire length of the bypass, and vegetated earthen mounds for noise reduction and visual impacts.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro, Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser and Nationals candidate for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, visited the RMS bypass consultation office today.

“The bypass is desperately needed for local residents and travellers alike and will encourage safer travel by reducing the number of vehicles through Coffs Harbour, and save between 10 and 15 minutes in travel times by bypassing 12 sets of traffic lights,” Mr Barilaro said. 

“It’s vital we have community representation at every step of the way through this process which is why we are announcing today a Coffs Harbour Bypass community consultative committee featuring an independent chairperson, Kathy Jones, to drive engagement.”

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, thanked the community for their feedback so far including noise impacts, heavy vehicles using the current Pacific Highway, designs of tunnels on the bypass, and location and design of the bypass itself.

“We need to get the best result for the community, which is why the consultative committee will now recruit local community members to drive community engagement so we can get solutions like low noise pavement and vegetated noise mounds or barriers to reduce noise and visual impacts.”

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said recent consultation generated more than 700 pieces of correspondence and comments on the interactive map.

“The NSW Nationals and Liberals Government is serious about delivering this bypass and we will put in our fair share of funding and hard work to get the solution right,” Mr Fraser said.  

The Nationals candidate for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, said he is delighted with the response from the NSW Government and the RMS, in result to his representations and discussions with Mr Fraser, Mrs Pavey, Mr Barilaro and the RMS. 

“Tunnel lengths will be suitable for all vehicles and now we will have a locally represented committee to deliver this fantastic project to the community,” Mr Singh said. 

Details on joining the committee and membership criteria will be available on the RMS website on Monday January 21. Construction of the bypass is set to start in 2020.

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